PROFESSIONAL'S NEED A LICENSE

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sarcasmo
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Re: PROFESSIONAL'S NEED A LICENSE
In reply to Fotogroup, Jun 11, 2013

Fotogroup wrote:

After many years in this Business, I've come to the conclusion, if Professional's are to survive, we need to push for a license. Everyone with a DSLR now feels empowered.

I was a guest at an outdoor wedding this weekend being shot by two purported Professional's. Each carried an entry level DSLR with a kit zoom, and the smallest accessory flash available, aimed strait at the subject's.

As soon as the Bride reached the altar, the lead photographer walked up the isle and stood at the front, just behind the parents, because the little kit lens didn't have the reach to get any shots. Pity all of the guests whose view was now blocked. The "Second Shooter" placed themselves back of the Ceremony, so they could get frontal's of the Bride and Groom. They flitted about shooting, and I watched many of the Guests watching the photographer, not the Ceremony. I'm sure this shooter was in the shots of the primary photographer much of the time.

After 40 years in the Business as a Photographer, Lab Owner, and University Instructor, I have come to the conclusion that we as Professional's need to become Licensed. We need to be tested, proving we understand how to deliver the quality product our clients expect. (Yah, there would be an initial "Grandfather Clause" exempting those with 5 years of experience and who had a registered Photography Business with their State. The Test and License would be designed by the PPA or WPPI. Travel, Street, Stock, and Photo Journalist's would be exempt, as long as they were pursuing those end's of the Business.

The door to entry would still be open, but would entail formal study, not trial and error. This could be through an apprenticeship, or Instruction in a two or four year Institution or Trade School. The various State's would endorse the idea once it was pointed out how much Tax Revenue they are currently not being paid by these self named Professional's.

I did not shoot, and never do, when someone is trying to make a living. I went up to the lead shooter and asked if they would mind a couple of hints. I told them to join their local PPA, attend the WWPI Convention in Vegas, and take a few seminars. I asked if they intended to become a Professional and they said, "I already am. This is now my main Business." I then showed them how to correctly hold their camera, and left.

Let me see if I understand your argument here.  You are suggesting licensure for photographers in order to improve skill level, based on anecdotal evidence, your ambiguous perception of public confidence, and a general bitterness about the availability of advanced cameras to anyone with a wallet.  Did I get that right?

Proper training is what ensures talent. Athletes go to practices, lawyers go to law school, doctors go to medical school, and photographers make ridiculous threads on the internet. That's pretty much all that goes into it.  If you want to know how to work on cars, for example, I suggest taking an automative repair class or two.

Licensing has nothing to do with talent.  Or training.  Licensure is about regulation.  It gives the government or an applicable regulatory agency the authority to permit you to do your job.  Back to the lawyer example for a second.  In a very general American scenario, a person goes to law school and gets a law degree.  Are they a lawyer?  No.  To become a lawyer, the person must then pass an exam and obtain a license.  The license is predicated upon continued education and the understanding that if they catastrophically screw up at some point in the future, the license will be revoked and they will no longer be permitted to practice law.

Is it in the public interest to have licensed photographers?  Not really.  You said it yourself that virtually anyone can take a photo.  And if you want to gain a professional advantage over the unwashed masses who dare impinge upon your superior skill, simply take better pictures and then market those pictures.  Make a name for yourself. 
I don't believe for a second that you actually taught at a university.  Stop caring how other people take photos, how good their photos are, and whether your photos or camera posture are better.  You sound like you are 10.

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